I've been surrounded lately by friends who are getting ready to have their second child. At max, the two kiddos will be 2 1/2 years apart. Toddler and a newborn, no matter what ages really, is just a super way to have a crazy life.
You have baby number 2, and you thought life was nuts before- just wait until you get home from the hospital. Nothing will ever be yours again. No, not even your lip gloss. No, not your breakfast, your coffee, your ice cream, your shower. Yes, you will have lost all of your own independence.
Here are somethings that have helped me. Tangible things.
Their own rooms. Two cribs, two changing tables (I always used dressers), 2 wipes containers, monitors, 2 is the magic number- Why? When one kid is sleeping you DO not want to wake the other one up to change a diaper, or try to get them to sleep, or have to nurse in the rocking chair... sleep is precious ( you should be laying down, especially if you have a newborn at this point in your day) Kids in their own space allows them to have ownership, and you to have your own space.
Double stroller (old or new, best invention ever)- the only way that I can do anything in public by myself. Most shopping carts do not have space for 2 kids in the front, unless it is some special race car shopping car, which is bigger than normal ( no thanks)
Changing pad for your car- (change all diapers before you go in anywhere, and unless you are staying their for 5 hours, you should be able to change them when you get home). Most places, even in the women's bathroom do not have changing tables. Ridiculous.
The drive through is your friend! No one has to get out!! You don't have to unload your car, just sit and order.
Bring your kids snacks, milks, waters... don't want to have to buy these things when you are out. Much easier, to just whip it out and shove it in their mouths. Yes, even a cookie sometimes.
Keep your diaper bag, loaded and ready to go. Then you can just head out easy peasy!
My 2 (that number again) are 14 months apart. 1 year and 2 months- that's it. I went into a restaurant- meeting friends- so not really a place I can bring my double stroller. Sling my bag on before I get my little one first, to carry. Get my 2 year old out of his seat, with one hand free to unbuckle him, and he can hop out to hold my hand and walk inside.
Getting back in the car, he is holding my keys and gets in the car first, while I buckle Nola in. So I can use two hands to buckle him in. Of course in the meantime, he locks the car (a door was open no worries) and puts my key in the ignition! This is my crazy life. And no matter how much I try to think ahead to make things simple... a door always gets locked. :)
Laugh. A lot. that's the only way to stay sane!